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Out of the blue, I received an email from an extraordinary team of filmmakers inviting me to #ExploreCanada. You may be surprised but my initial thought was ‘panic’. It has been a lifelong ambition to visit Canada. Steeped in the expectation of an unforgettable adventure, did I really want my bucket list ticked off by a press trip? And then I landed…
What started as a ‘job’ became a life-changing experience in which I met the most extraordinary people, fell deeply in love with the land, lost myself in nature’s tranquillity and found a part of me I never knew existed.
I am honoured to share my journey with you in a series of beautiful videos, capturing just a glimpse of the magic I lived in Canada.
In today’s video, the brilliant David Cooke took me foraging for our dinner. Canada is famous for its forest to table dining and I couldn’t believe the abundance of food, mere metres from the Arowhon Pines kitchen. Chantarelle mushrooms, wild horseradish, edible flowers and, of course, trout straight from the lake. I learnt so much from this masterful man and have been inspired to see exactly what my own backyard can offer.
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well good – Katie fix as you can tell I'm not in the kitchen today I'm in Canada because today I have the incredible David Cook with me he's going to show me how we feed properly in Canada with forest to table cuisine we're going to be foraging for our food and then taking it to the beautiful arahant Pines Lodge to cook it in Algonquin Ontario and we're going to be making a feast today just sit we're going to put today it depends on what we find here in the forest we go exploring let's go wild horseradish Oh chanterelle mushrooms well one thing I've really learned being parents inside their forest table dining it's a circle people been living like that through these grounds for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years every time we go foraging it's like a new adventure for me I love it because I learned something new each time I go these are Hunnicutt mushrooms and what kind of flavor is that they taste like a porcini and boy that's a mushroom so we've got our beautiful ingredients we're keeping it authentic and we've got the open fire going this is everything that we picked this afternoon Wow here's our wild arugula that's the world lettuce there's our chanterelle mushrooms this is a little bit of raspberry vinegar and that is just apple cider vinegar that we master ate it with raspberries here's the flower petals from the florist that we picked this afternoon how delicate those are fresh trout and this has been marinated with a little bit of tarragon from the garden and garlic from the garden can I sniff please Thanks so here's the horseradish and I'm just going to grate a little bit I'm just gonna drop that into a little bit of 35% cream we'll use that as our savory on our trout what we're cooking is the epitome of a sure lunch this is what people have been cooking on the shores of this lake for 150 years when you were traveling by canoe you kept a pack of bacon fat or lard with you and it was to cook the fish so here I have bacon fat I have cornmeal and that's gonna coat ah that's what I'm going to coat the trout in before I fry it in the bacon fat for our sweet with the trout I have a crab apple and on jelly or a chokecherry and tarragon jelly so shall we cook let's get cookin in goes the baking time instant sizzle so here's the truth the smell of the Paragon immediately it's going to be about a minute and a half per side and we cook it until it's just a pick in the middle so you want the fish to eat just just go it's still nice and delicate flesh side down first that's a chef's trick so here's our beautiful fried fish let's finish off this dish what we have here the wild arugula the wild lettuce and mushy Littrell mushrooms and I'm just going to put them into into a bowl with the flour leaves and the raspberry vinegar over the top and this is a semi sweet vinegar it's not all sour I may or may not have dipped my finger in it and it was great and there's our two fish a little bit of crab apple and tarragon jelly a little bit of chokecherry and tarragon jelly this is the horseradish and mixed with a little bit of cream and salt what we calling this dish so this is an arrow umpires take on the traditional Ontario Shore lunch which is trope fried and cornmeal and bacon fat found in the lamb forest well you witnessed it forage drank five minutes ago brought to the open fire and that's on our table to enjoy I cannot wait to tuck in can try please do your magician I just enjoy the fish water is I'm gonna go in with our foraging delights from this morning the pepperiness alongside the sweetness and the trout's quite sweet as well that little dancing of Tarragona tongue that is spectacular but it's just a mouthful of happy awesome very good this is spectacular this whole experience has been unforgettable thank you so much for teaching me everything that I've learned today I'm going to take it with me for a lifetime guys if you want to follow the rest of my Canadian adventure then please make sure you click all of those links in the description box this journeys gonna blow your mind I know that I don't think I'll ever be the same after this so thank you tune in next week and I shall see you very soon thank you David I will let you have some thank you eventually